When Public Breastfeeding Goes Too Far
There has been a lot of hullabaloo about breastfeeding lately. TIME Magazine knew what they were doing when they put an attractive, pouty-faced woman breastfeeding her toddler on their cover.
Folks went crazy. From the "breastfeeding is beautiful" crowd to the "I had to scratch out my cornea" crowd, everyone had something to say.
I felt like a loner, hanging out in the "I don't give a shit" crowd.
I had four babies in five years. I was in a lactating coma for six years. No one put me on the cover of a magazine.
I can assure you that my nursing adventures never, EVER garnered accusations of "sexualizing breastfeeding!"
My bra size went from a 34B to a 38L.
When the boob buffet closed, I was at a loss.
Truth be told, I still miss it. When I see a nursing mother, I don't think "look at that smokin' hot breast" or "how dare she show her ladies in public!?!?" I sadly think, "I will never breastfeed a baby again."
Maybe I have breastfeeding PTSD?
That would explain what happened to me at my first blogging conference this summer. I was so nervous that I made a "Top 10 Things NOT To Do At A Conference" list. Apparently, I should have included a #11.
There was a cocktail party the night before the conference started. I was beyond terrified and intimidated and overwhelmed.
These women were the big girl bloggers of bloggers. "Big in the blogosphere" kind of way, not the "big boned" kind of way. I am almost six-feet-tall, and I found myself towering over these Polly Pocket sized women.
It was all a blur of introductions and business cards. Before I could say "DIY Blogger" three times, I was being introduced to my favorite blogger. Thee blogger. The holy one.
She was so gracious and kind and humble. I knew that I was smiling like a goon at her and willed myself to speak. For the love of all things holy, SAY SOMETHING!
The admiration society was out in full force. I could hear high praises and lovely compliments flowing freely to this woman.
Just as I thought my face must be permanently frozen in the goon smile, words finally tumbled out of my mouth.
"Well, you are so cute and little! I could just breastfeed you!"
In slow motion, I saw the woman next to me spew wine out her nose. Another horrified bystander stared at me as if I had blown my nose on her shirt.
There was no way to explain that I had breastfeeding PTSD, right?
Finally, I have some words of wisdom about public breastfeeding.
I don't care if you breastfeed or bottle-feed your little darlings.
I don't care how long or how little you feed them.
I don't care if you cover yourself or show yourself.
#11 on my "What NOT To Do At A Conference" list:
Do not offer to breastfeed your esteemed colleagues.
From: In The Powder Room
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Photo Credit: Jenna Hatfield.